BYU Athletics Blog | 2014

Cougars prepare for first round NCAA tournament match vs. Seton Hall

Dec 03, 2014 - Posted by Royce Hinton at 6:09 pm | Updated: December 3, 2014 7:53 pm | Permalink

BYU women's volleyball traveled to Phoenix, Arizona, Wednesday before catching a bus to the University of Arizona's McKale Memorial Center. After a 90 minute practice in the unfamiliar court, the team turned in at the hotel to study film on the opponent and work on homework. The Cougars will have an early morning practice tomorrow in preparation for the 4 p.m. MST Thursday match against Seton Hall. 

Getting to Know Makenna Smith

Dec 02, 2014 - Posted by Nicholas Henderson at 4:10 pm | Updated: December 2, 2014 4:12 pm | Permalink

Why did you begin running?

In P.E. at middle school they had a thing where they gave out shirts. If girls ran a six- minute mile they got a shirt, if a boy ran a five-minute mile they got a shirt. I ran a six-minute mile. My coach said I should get a five-minute mile, so I raced some boys from the eighth grade. I was in seventh, and I got the five-minute mile and I set the school record. Once you’re good at things, you start pursuing them more. In eighth grade there was a school track meet. You didn’t have to train for it at all, but the high school coach would watch. I did well, so he told me I should try out for the cross country team.

Favorite Part about running

I love how raw it is. You can’t hide anything from anybody. If you watch runners, everyone makes fun of it like ‘why are you doing it?’ You’re putting yourself through pain and nobody really enjoys it. At the same time, it’s enjoyable because you watch people put everything they have on the line. No matter if they’re running a 6:30 mile or 4:30 mile. It’s cool to watch people put everything they have out there.

Best memory

My senior year was my breakthrough year of running and I was on varsity all four years of high school. My senior year I wanted to be leading my team. When it came down to it there were two girls beating me on my team which was great, but I was frustrated because I wanted to be better and be leading the team. I didn’t know what to do so I decided one day that I wanted to climb/run up this mountain. By going through that pain I thought I’d be able to go through the pain to become the best. So I didn’t tell anyone where I was going. I went to the local mountain. I took off and started running. It was quite an adventure because I had one water bottle, one apple and it was probably a five hour round trip.

There was one part where the trail came to an end so I had to climb for a little bit because I didn’t take the right trail. I ended up climbing trails by myself. I was really finding myself in a way. Finding my running self. The first race after that, I was ready. If I could make those sacrifices outside of racing, I could make sacrifices within the race. I think about that even now. I can do hard things and it’s not beyond my reach to accomplish hard things. I think people underestimate themselves. You do what you think you can do.

Rituals before running

I feel more comfortable when I wear high black socks. I like to shower before my race because it makes me feel fresh and ready to go so I always do that without fail. I pray before every race, it’s a good reminder than my strength doesn’t come from me.

Talent outside of running

I like singing. My family is very musical; we jam at home a lot with instruments. I love surfing and rock climbing. Those are things I want to get really good at after I’m done running. I also love free diving. I like seeing how deep I can go. I have been down 40 feet.

Few people know

I love reading classic books and sci-fi books. The Count of Monte Cristo is my favorite.

Favorite Movie

What about Bob? My family loves that movie.

Also, What’s up Doc?

Favorite Song and Artist

(Sitting on) The Dock of the Bay-Otis Redding

Witchy Woman-The Eagles

Why come to BYU

Originally I wanted to be different and go somewhere else. In talking to my mom she told me that I’ll never have the opportunity again in my life, to live in a Mormon community like that. It will be a really cool experience to have people who are striving to be better people, have prayers before classes, have devotionals, and going to the singles wards. That was a big part of the decision and then also BYU has a good program. Here I can be the best runner I can be. Also it’s a good academic institution.

Who do you look up to?

My older sister, Jessie. I didn’t realize how many of my ideals come from her example. She is so relaxed about things. She puts people at ease. She is non-judgmental.

Favorite Quote

“Don’t pray for tasks equal to your powers, pray for powers equal to your tasks.”


I always think about this when I’m faced with a decision, “Keep up the Smith name.” That has always stuck with me because I think very highly of my parents and their reputation. It makes me want to be better, whether that’s making right decisions or just being better in general like being smarter, faster, etc.


Wildlife and Wild Land Conservation

If you could choose another sport to be good at, it would be…

I really want to be good at volleyball. I’m the only one in my family that’s not good. I’m 5-foot-3 and everyone else is taller. We play all the time at home on the beach.

One person you’d like to meet



Rock Climbing

If you could go anywhere, where would you go

I really want to travel through the Amazon. But backpacking South America would be rad as well.

Advice for younger runners

My advice is that great results come from a great work ethic. Being a hard worker builds more mental and physical strength than any talent will give you. Train hard. Race harder.

Big second-half gives BYU 90-76 win over EKU

Nov 29, 2014 - Posted by Sugene Lee at 9:35 pm | Permalink

Kyle Collinsworth scored the first BYU points in the second half with a putback layup and followed it up with a steal and an assist to Chase Fischer in transition to hold a 36-33 lead at the 18:00 mark. The Cougars went on a 15-3 run to extend their lead to 49-36 with 14:35 left in the game. The run included three shots from deep and a two-hand dunk by Tyler Haws on the break ignited by Anson Winder’s steal.

Skyler Halford added three more 3-pointers with Collinsworth and Haws adding one each to increase BYU’s lead to 64-41 with 11:15 remaining. Fischer’s layup at the 10:45 mark gave the Cougars their largest lead of the game at 25 points up 66-41. With 5:20 on the clock, Frank Bartley IV assisted Collinsworth on the dunk to maintain a 77-59 lead.

BYU took the game 90-76 with Haws leading all scorers with 26 points to go along with four points and four rebounds. Fischer added 20 points, three rebounds and two assists, while Winder contributed 19 points and five rebounds. Collinsworth finished nine points, four rebounds, five assists and three steals. 

Cougars lead Eastern Kentucky 32-30 at halftime

Nov 29, 2014 - Posted by Sugene Lee at 8:23 pm | Permalink

Chase Fischer opened the game with a 3-pointer but the Colonels took a 10-7 lead less than five minutes into the game. Tyler Haws made a shot from beyond the arc to tie it at 10 apiece at the 15:16 mark, and tied it again at 12-12 with Skyler Halford’s assist to Haws running the baseline for the layup.

Fischer scored the next eight BYU points to keep a three-point lead with Anson Winder’s drive down the lane putting the Cougars up 23-17 with 7:57 left in the half. The Colonels went on a 6-0 run to tie it back at 23, but was answered by Anson Winder’s 3-pointer to give BYU a 26-23 lead with 4:08 remaining.

The Cougars erased a quick two-point deficit with a Haws putback layup and Frank Bartley IV’s putback off of his own free-throw miss with 38 seconds left to give BYU a 32-30 lead at the half.

Fischer and Haws led the game with 11 points a piece with Winder adding five points and three rebounds. 

Football arrives in California in advance of Saturday's regular-season finale

Nov 28, 2014 - Posted by Duff Tittle at 11:21 pm | Updated: November 29, 2014 12:33 am | Permalink
Following some meetings and a morning practice, the BYU football team left Provo early Friday afternoon for California and its Saturday matchup with the Cal Bears.
After checking in at the Walnut Creek Marriott, followed by a quick dinner, the football team boarded buses for the Lafayette/Walnut Creek Overlook Chapel to participate in the customary BYU football fireside.
The fireside was attended by more than 700 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and their friends.
Senior defensive back Skye PoVey led off the fireside with a story about friendship and the joy the Gospel brings into our lives, citing the scripture Alma 41:11. Senior offensive lineman Solomone Kafu talked about overcoming challenges and being accountable to God.
Junior wide receiver Devon Blackmon then spoke about his journey from high school to Oregon to Riverside City College and eventually BYU. He expressed appreciation for the things he has learned since coming to Provo, especially the importance of "putting the Lord first" in his life. 
Scott Arellano, senior punter and semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award, performed a piano number entitled River Flows In You by Yiruma.
The floor was then opened up to the audience for Q&A, which was moderated by senior wide receiver Jordan Leslie. Coach Bronco Mendenhall and players answered questions covering topics such as mission service, putting the Lord first, being thankful and honoring the Priesthood. 
Coach Mendenhall wrapped up the meeting by expressing his thankfulness for the gospel and the peace it brings into our lives.
Following the fireside the team jumped on the buses and headed to California Memorial Stadium for a walk-through before turning in for the evening.
The team will return to the stadium Saturday late morning in advance of the 1:30 p.m. PT kickoff between the Cougars and Golden Bears. Click here for more information on the game.

Check out the photos below to see more of today's happenings.

Cougars blow out Tigers in 64-0 win

Nov 22, 2014 - Posted by Sugene Lee at 4:05 pm | Permalink

Trevor Samson opened the final quarter with a 31-yard field goal to extend the Cougars’ lead 54-0 at the 14:55 mark. On the Tigers’ next possession, SSU fumbled the ball and was recovered by Tanner Balderree on SSU’s 23-yard line, which led to a 32-yard field goal by Trevor Samson to push BYU’s lead up 57-0.

Nate Carter’s 23-yard rush to enter SSU’s territory led to AJ Moore’s 22-yard carry to reach the Tigers’ 22-yard line. Following a gain of 4 yards by Moore for a third-down conversion, Moore rushed for a 6-yard touchdown and a 64-0 BYU lead with 2:08 remaining in the game.

With less than two minutes left, the Tigers fumbled the ball and it was recovered by BYU’s Theodore King to take the game to 64-0.

The Cougars finished with a total of 488 yards with 265 rushing yards and 223 passing yards. 

BYU and SSU hold each other scoreless in the third quarter

Nov 22, 2014 - Posted by Sugene Lee at 3:30 pm | Permalink

BYU and SSU keep each other scoreless in the third quarter to keep the score at 51-0.

The Cougars kicked off the second half sacking SSU’s Leon Prunty for a loss of 10 yards and forced SSU to punt. BYU fumbled the ball on its possession and it was recovered by Tigers’ Marcus Lee on BYU’s 35-yard line, but SUU didn’t score.

Mitchell Juergens caught the 19-yard pass from McCoy Hill for a first down with less than five minutes left in the quarter. In the same possession, Nate Carter rushed for 8 yards to SSU’s 14-yard line for a first down, but the Cougars were unable to convert as the third quarter came to an end. 

BYU keeps SSU scoreless to lead 51-0

Nov 22, 2014 - Posted by Sugene Lee at 2:35 pm | Permalink

Following SSU’s fake punt and turnover, Terenn Houk completed a 9-yard touchdown catch from Christian Stewart to push BYU’s lead up 28-0 with 12:31 remaining in the first half. On the Tigers’ next possession, Alani Fua intercepted SSU Leon Prunty’s pass to return for 20 yards to SSU’s 6-yard line. Stewart rushed for 6 yards for another touchdown on the next possession to extend the Cougars’ lead 35-0.

The Cougars continued their great defensive play after deflecting the Tigers’ pass and sacking Prunty for a loss of 1 yard on the next play. After SSU mishandled the punt, the Cougars recovered it at SSU’s 1-yard line to score on a pass from Stewart to Jordan Leslie for the 42-0 lead at the 10:03 mark.

Hunter Moore’s rush for 6 yards to SSU’s 6-yard line led to Nate Carter’s 2-yard rush for BYU’s seventh touchdown of the game with 4:12 left in the half. Carter’s touchdown was the first of his career. After forcing the Tigers to another punt, David Kessler blocked the ball, which led SSU punter to kick it into the back of the endzone for a safety and the 51-0 lead. 

Cougars lead Tigers 21-0 after first quarter

Nov 22, 2014 - Posted by Sugene Lee at 1:49 pm | Permalink

BYU scored the first points of the game on a 71-yard touchdown catch by Mitch Mathews from Christian Stewart at the 1:20 mark to lead 7-0.

With 7:24 left in the quarter, Stewart rushed for a 16-yard touchdown to extend the Cougars' lead 14-0. The scoring drive was set up with Jordan Leslie’s 23-yard catch and Algernon Brown’s 17-yard rush to get to the Tigers’ 19-yard line.

After forcing the Tigers to punt on their first two possessions, Stewart followed it up with another 15-yard touchdown pass to Mathews to increase BYU’s lead 21-0 with 3:32 left in the quarter.

Stewart threw 10 of 13 for 186 yards and a touchdown, while Mathews ended the quarter wth two touchdowns and 110 receiving yards. 

BYU downs SVU, 101-48

Nov 19, 2014 - Posted by Jack Urquhart at 9:08 pm | Updated: November 19, 2014 9:10 pm | Permalink
Anson Winder, Luke Worthington and Chase Fischer paced BYU early in the second half, combining for 14 points as the Cougars stretched their lead to 74-28 seven minutes into the half. Worthington's efficiency continued, as he buried a left-handed hook from the middle of the lane to improve to 6 of 7 from the field.

With his field goal with 6:30 on the clock, senior forward Josh Sharp became the 10th player to score for BYU, as BYU led 81-34. A minute and a half later, Sharp electrified the crowd, throwing down an alley-oop from teammate Jake Toolson.

The Cougars broke the 90-point barrier when Toolson knocked down a 3-pointer from the corner—his fourth three of the game. In the final minutes of the game, Jordan Ellis and Ryan Andrus scored for BYU, giving 12 Cougars points in the game. Toolson hit his fifth three with one second left in the contest, becoming the leading scorer for BYU and giving the Cougars a 101-48 win.

Seven BYU players—Toolson, Tyler Haws, Isaac Neilson, Worthington, Fischer, Frank Bartley IV and Dalton Nixon—scored in double digits. Bartley led the team with seven assists. Neilson and Toolson led with seven rebounds each.